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Application of ThinkLets to team cognitive task analysis

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2 Author(s)
Harder, R.J. ; US Army Res. Lab., Adelphi, MD, USA ; Higley, H.

As was seen in the 2003 Gulf War, the U.S. Army is migrating to a lighter, more mobile and more lethal fighting force. In support of this desired paradigm, the major U.S. Army's battle laboratories are performing key experiments to determine how the projected mix of personnel, materiel, and doctrine can be interwoven into a desired structure for the year 2015. In February 2003, the U.S. Army's battle command battle laboratory (BCBL-L) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas appraised, utilizing a more intuitive decision-making process, a simulated futuristic two thousand-man force structure with its anticipated equipment. There were several stated, and a few unstated, objectives to this experiment, necessitating the use of numerous observers and several data collection instruments. Of the data collection instruments, the principal instrument for team cognitive task analysis functions was the Wagon Wheel interview methodology. Of the tools, the principal tool employed to collaborate, consolidate and sustain the data collection events was a group support system. This paper first explores how the selected group support system tools were utilized to automate the Wagon Wheel process from a one-on-one manual process to an automated system that enabled simultaneous data collection from 20 individuals. This paper then examines how the concept of ThinkLets was used to define the Wagon Wheel process. Lastly, an exchange of ideas are provided, talking about the strong and weak points of using a group support system in the experiment, the problems that arose and the solutions employed, and some thoughts for using a group support system in the follow-on experiments.

Published in:

System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 Jan. 2004

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